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Advice for those struggling to get an acceptance?

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by Erin Costello Erin Costello (New) New

HI everyone!

 

So I am currently in the process of applying to different ABSN/ELMN programs. I applied to USF for their ELMN program and got denied, and also to Samuel Merritt's ABSN program, and was denied. My pre-req GPA is a 3.5 for anatomy, Physiology, chem, and Microbiology, and my undergrad GPA was about a 3.3.  I'm also looking into ADN programs now.  The only healthcare experience I have is working at a diabetes Summer camp for 4 summers. I'm debating trying to get certified as an EMT or even an LVN to get more experience. What do you guys think? I was anxious to get into a program as soon as possible but in California that Is seeming less than likely at this point. I am open to going out of state as well. Any advice helps! 

 

Tip:  If that's your real name (user ID), you may want to change it.  Usually not a good idea to use your real name on message boards.

Your stats actually look pretty good.  Many SMU students go in with around those same type of numbers.  In California, it really is a numbers game.

I know somebody who ended up attending the SMU ABSN program.  She applied 3 times and finally got in on the third try.  SMU does take notice if you keep applying.  Bear that in mind.  Also, apply to all three campuses.  If you are only applying to one of their campuses, your odds go down.

The person I know who got in on the third try, set up an appointment with the admissions director/counselor of the ABSN program and went in person there.  She told her, "give me your harshest criticism about my application and what I need to to do to improve my chances."   The counselor actually gave her some sound advice and, in particular, critiqued her essay.  From what I have heard from other applicants who have been rejected, they change their essay and that's what got them in the second or third time.

I do realize with Covid, the chances of going in person to see a counselor is probably nil.   You may just want to email one of them and see if they can have a zoom meeting or WebEx with you and give you some advice and critique your essay. Just make sure when you set up the meeting, you let them know that you want them to look over your application - especially the essay.  They can also let you know if maybe you need more volunteer experience. Sometimes they want to see a more consistent volunteer experience where you're going somewhere for a year or more straight. Again, that's just what people have stated, but the best bet is to contact the school itself!

Good luck and don't give up.  When time is right, you'll get in

If you're trying to get entry-level healthcare experience, a CNA course is the way to go.  Look into your local community colleges.  Also, some psychiatric hospitals will train you to work as a psych tech without experience.  CNA and psych tech skills are more applicable to a nursing career compared to EMT.

LVN school will take about 1.5 years after you get accepted and you haven't stated if you have the pre-reqs for that so I don't recommend that route unless you want to work as an LVN.

Neo Soldier, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 6 years experience.

I agree with poster above suggesting you get your CNA certificate. I recommend a private (accredited) school because some of them are as short as 3 weeks. Community colleges take more time. 
The problem with getting your LVN is that it will take anywhere between a year to a year and a half to complete. Also for many LVN schools, getting your CNA is a prerequisite. By the time you’re done with your LVN, you may want to start looking into RN programs that will allow you to bridge. How much work experience will that afford you? LVN programs may be costly if you go to a private school. I’m not against you going to an LVN program though but I don’t think you should use it for experience solely. You could apply to both the RN and LVN program and see which program accepts you. 
 

One more thing, if you’re able to move to a different state, please do it. It’s getting increasingly difficult to get into an RN program in CA.

I had the same problem getting accepted into  ABSN in my state. I decided to move out of state, and  did my research, I found a a very good school that most people don't know much about up north, CCNE accredited. I applied and got accepted. So happy I took the decision. I love nursing and I'm willing to sacrifice my comfort for it. 

1 hour ago, princessobioha said:

I had the same problem getting accepted into  ABSN in my state. I decided to move out of state, and  did my research, I found a a very good school that most people don't know much about up north, CCNE accredited. I applied and got accepted. So happy I took the decision. I love nursing and I'm willing to sacrifice my comfort for it. 

Thank you! What school did you go to if you don’t mind me asking! 

From ABSNs to Direct MSNs, I received rejection/waitlist letters for the past two years but I finally got an acceptance letter because I chose to move away from California. The competitiveness and pricing when it comes to California really deters you when you are trying so hard to become a nurse. My advice is branch out to anywhere in the United States that you are somewhat comfortable with living. My Nurse Lead at a hospital I volunteered at told me that it doesn't matter where you get your degree, but instead how much experience you have. Don't be infatuated with prestigious and super expensive schools! But also, I highly recommend you volunteering for a hospital so you can have more experience! Hope this helps 🙂

27 minutes ago, Thaomakesyougowow said:

From ABSNs to Direct MSNs, I received rejection/waitlist letters for the past two years but I finally got an acceptance letter because I chose to move away from California. The competitiveness and pricing when it comes to California really deters you when you are trying so hard to become a nurse. My advice is branch out to anywhere in the United States that you are somewhat comfortable with living. My Nurse Lead at a hospital I volunteered at told me that it doesn't matter where you get your degree, but instead how much experience you have. Don't be infatuated with prestigious and super expensive schools! But also, I highly recommend you volunteering for a hospital so you can have more experience! Hope this helps 🙂

Absolutely helps! You are right. Just started applying out of state.  Just need to take the HESI and I’ll be ready to apply to more. Thank you! 

I pretty much had around the same GPA that you're rocking right now and I got into a program. I work at a hospital currently, but in the past I volunteered for a few months and made big connections that were able to write me great reference letters for applications. In retrospect, I think this really helped me when It came to applying. I'm from California and applied in state and all over the West Coast. I think I applied to 7+ programs and had a safety net school on the East Coast. I ended up getting accepted into my safety school and got waitlisted for another program elsewhere. So the more applications you put out the better your chances are. California is highly competitive, so are Oregon, Washington, etc. So don't put all your eggs in one basket. Like Thao said, expand your horizons and apply absolutely everywhere that you'd be comfortable living and don't get caught up in big, flashy names because in the end everyone ends up with pretty much the same degree. Moving for a year or two sucks but its a small price to pay for getting your degree and getting out into the world!